Art for Rudrani Devi Das is a mode which she uses to find the meaning of life, not necessarily an escape route from the mundane world to one of indiscipline. Rudrani is the daughter of famous artist Rahju Michael, but she knows that her dad is not going to carry her to the finish line in life. She figured this out quite early before she became a professional painter.
Having the guidance of her father as a teacher had its rewards. She watched and learned as Rahju evolved as an artist. “I am thus much better prepared and am aware of what may lie ahead of me. It does help, especially on a psychological level, because artists can wrestle madly with themselves if they are not too careful,” Rudrani told Weekend Nation in an interview.
Some years ago she had her exhibition titled ‘World of Fae’. This was her first, a culmination of both her schooling years and the initial attempts made to explore herself and her world. She is very clear about where she wants to go in life now. Those obsessed with the mundane life might use the word ‘venture’ to describe Rudrani’s journey thus far. But she doesn’t see any risk in this journey she has chosen to make ‘alone’ from her home in Kandy.
She has been greatly influenced by her father’s work and collection of books in his library. However she is quick to point out that the styles of two artists do differ because different personalities are involved. “The biggest influence of my dad on me is the intellectual aspect of art,” said Rudrani who added that she has fond memories of learning the rudiments of art from her father at his home studio. Like any artist’s daughter she got to play around with her dad’s paints and brushes. She was just one year old when she crawled into the world of art.
She was perhaps allowed to grow up the natural way, like kids many years ago who experienced homeschooling. But, as for Rudrani, there was always a discipline aspect when it came to pursuing art. There were well structured art lessons under the tutelage of the art maestro. “I have always stated that freedom comes from discipline, and this is true on canvas, too. If ‘style’ is an excuse for laziness in the technical area, then the artist has problems,” she warned.
She went through her initial phases in art, drawing with pencils, charcoal and ink and then moving onto actual paint and colour. “Talent was evident, but skills were honed,” reflected Rudrani.
Knowing she took one and a half years off painting to re-evaluate her relationship with art possibly made it complicated for this artist to answer the question ‘what plans for the future’. “I know more about what I want to do now after the break,” she said.
She acknowledges that her father has been a great influence in her life whether its painting or reading. Rudrani said she has found ‘gems’ among her dad’s collection of books. She is an avid reader and digs into books penned in the lines of detective investigation, fantasy, biographies and anything brilliantly written in general. At present she is reading ‘Dimensions Beyond the Known’ by Osho.
She maintains a travelogue (www.rudranidevidas.com) where she pens her thoughts on her journeys. She uses social media to keep connected with her friends living all over the globe. Social media and the gadgets used with it are also a part of Rudrani’s life. “Would I fall apart if they ceased to function? Not really,” she said.
Her post on Facebook suggests she eats pure food. By the way she is vegan. She is a cat lover. She said she is inspired by musicians, dancers and writers.
Others might think that being the daughter of famed artist Rahju might make her special. But she is down to earth and honest about her achievements. She doesn’t think she has created anything ‘major’ yet. She said that the latest series she has commenced is proving to be more honest and in-depth than her former paintings. She has taken a conscious decision to live her life alone and allows paintings to guide her more and more.
(She may be found on social media as @missceylon.)
The photo of the artist courtesy: Alice Luker.www.aliceluker.co.uk